DC Comics is closing 2022 out with a bang, but 2023 has even more twists and turns in store for fans. Front and center in the first quarter of the year is Lazarus Planet, an event that spins out of Batman Vs. Robin. Something happens with the Lazarus pits worldwide at the end of that series, an event which has massive repercussion for the entire superhero community.
Lazarus Planet‘s teaser images depict several DC heroes, including some who haven’t been seen in a long time. Lazarus Planet seems like it’s going to have a huge effect on DC going forward in 2023. To get the full enjoyment out of the story, there are some DC books readers should hunt down.
10/10 Justice League Dark Deals With The Magical Side Of Things
Lazarus Planet looks to deal a lot with magic and magic-based characters. There are some great magic-based DC teams, with the premiere one being the Justice League Dark. With that in mind, the best thing to read would be Justice League Dark (Vol. 2). The twenty-nine issue series, written by James Tynion IV and Ram V with art by Álvarez Martínez Bueno and multiple fill-in artists, followed a new incarnation of the team as they battle the Upside-Down Man.
Justice League Dark’s team adventures would start again as a back-up in Justice League, written by Ram V and Dan Watter with art by Xermanico and Sumit Kumar, pitting them against a returned Merlin. This storyline was collected as Justice League Dark:The Great Wickedness. These books will tell readers everything they need to know about magic’s current place in the DCU.
9/10 Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths: The Dark Army Introduces Red Canary
Most characters shown in the Lazarus Planet teaser are familiar to readers, but one isn’t: Red Canary. She’s an unknown factor in the story. She first appears in the Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths: The Dark Army one-shot, by writers Mark Waid, Dennis Culver, and Delilah Dawson with art by Freddie E. Williams and Jack Herbert.
The Dark Army follows Damian Wayne taking a team of heroes to try to disrupt Pariah’s control over his Dark Army with Red Canary tagging along. The story provides a great introduction for Red Canary, but it remains to be seen what role she’ll play in the DC Universe after Lazarus Planet.
8/10 Superman: Son Of Kal-El Sets Up Jon Kent’s Time As Superman
Jon Kent is going to play a role in Lazarus Planet, which makes Superman: Son Of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artists John Timms and Cian Tormey with multiple fill-in artists, a book of interest. The comic follows Jon as he learns the ropes of being Superman, meets his boyfriend Jay, frees the country of Gamorra, and deals with the return of his father and Lex Luthor.
Jon’s run as Superman has been pretty great, all things told. The character has grown a lot since the series started, and he’s definitely earned his top spot in the DC Universe. Lazarus Planet looks to be a turning point in his evolution, something that many fans would welcome.
7/10 The New Champion Of Shazam Stars Mary Marvel As Shazam
Shazam has been around for a long time, with his Shazam family playing a big role in his life. Mary Marvel has long been the fan’s favorite member of the Shazam family, and she’s finally getting a chance to seize the spotlight. The New Champion Of Shazam, by writer Josie Campbell and artist Evan “Doc” Shaner, follows Mary after the Wizard makes her the new Shazam.
Shazam looks to a play in a big role in Lazarus Planet, but Billy hasn’t had a book in a long time. The New Champion Of Shazam is the latest Shazam book, so this is the book to read to see what Shazam and the family are up to prior to Lazarus Planet.
6/10 Monkey Prince Introduces A New Chinese Hero To The DC Multiverse
DC first started introducing Chinese heroes back during DC Rebirth, with writer Gene Luen Yang’s New Super-Man. That move has continued with Yang bringing a new Chinese hero to DC, Monkey Prince. Monkey Prince, with art by Bernard Chang, stars Marcus Sun, friend of Billy Batson and son of Sun Wukong, the famous Monkey King.
When he recites the magic word “Bìan,” Marcus becomes Monkey Prince, using his powers to fight evil. Monkey Prince has been mentioned in all the Lazarus Planet press releases, hinting that the character may be playing a secret role in the whole situation. Monkey Prince will fill in the blanks about this great new hero.
5/10 Shadow War Presents A Clash Between The Al Ghul Clan And Deathstroke
Shadow War opened with a shock. Deathstroke killed Ra’s al Ghul, apparently permanently. From there, the nine issue crossover story — running through Batman, Robin, Deathstroke Inc., and several bookend issues — laid out the battle between the League of Assassins and Deathstroke.
With the Demon’s Head dead, Talia is out for revenge against Deathstroke, which plays right into the mercenary’s hands, as Batman and Robin scramble to stop the worst of the bloodshed. Shadow War fits with Lazarus Planet because of its focus on the al Ghul family. As the premiere users of the Lazarus Pit, this book will clue readers into the latest details surrounding the Pits.
4/10 Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths Is DC’s Most Recent Big Event
Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths brings big change to the DC Multiverse and is the event that directly precedes Lazarus Planet. Written by Josh Williamson with art by Daniel Sampere, the story sees Pariah attack the Multiverse, trying to bring back the old infinite Multiverse. With the Justice League in his clutches, Earth’s heroes have to come together to figure out how to win.
DCoIE has been an epic adventure, and it’s set the tenor of the DC Multiverse going forward. The story also has some big ups and downs, with brilliant art from Sampere. Readers need to know what’s going on in this book to understand Lazarus Planet.
3/10 Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Brings Together The Dark Knight And The Man Of Steel
Mark Waid is one of the primary architects of Lazarus Planet. The writer is an encyclopedia of DC knowledge, but has been away from the publisher for a while. His first book back at DC is Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, with art by Dan Mora and Travis Moore.
Taking place in the past, Batman/Superman: World’s Finest‘s first story arc portrayed Batman, Robin, Superman, and Supergirl teaming up against the demon Nezha. The next arc sees a new hero from a wrecked Earth show up, with the pair taking him in. Nezha looks to play a role in Batman Vs. Robin, which could move into Lazarus Planet.
2/10 Robin Throws Damian Wayne Into A Lethal Tournament
Damian Wayne is a fan-favorite Robin. His newest book, by writer Josh Williamson and regular artist Gleb Melnikov with back-up artists, has taken him on an exciting new journey. Robin sees the young hero join the Lazarus Tournament, a winner take-all battle administered by the mysterious Mother Soul.
This event leads directly into Batman Vs. Robin. Robin will give fans the build up they need running into BvR. The Lazarus Tournament and its stakes are definitely going to play a role in Lazarus Planet. Robin‘s also essential to understand what’s going on in Batman Vs. Robin.
1/10 Batman Vs. Robin Pits Father And Son Against Each Other
Batman Vs. Robin has been a thrilling ride so far. Written by Mark Waid with art by Mahmud Asrar, the book kicks off with a reunion no one thought they’d ever see before Batman is attacked in the Batcave by Johnny Thunder and Tim Hunter. It gets worse from there, as Damian Wayne, fresh from his Lazarus Tournament win, reveals he’s gunning for his father.
Batman Vs. Robin is the most crucial to Lazarus Planet. It ties up the plot threads from Shadow War and Robin’s Lazarus Tournament. Lazarus Planet’s inciting incident takes place in this comic, and it’s a must-read for fans, beyond just being a great comic by Waid and Asrar.
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